1932

Abstract

Most would agree that anthropology needs a degree of consensus and structure and, arguably, of “identity” as well. But as a discipline, its boundaries are blurred, with ongoing negotiations along its changing peripheries. Frontiers with history and the humanities are examples. Other examples are in the biological sciences, other social sciences, and public and academic policy. This article follows the form of a 65-year contextualized semiautobiography juxtaposing difficulties and ambiguities that have long characterized archaeological preoccupation with building models out of recoverable, material evidence alongside philological fidelity to the testimony of early literate records. My substantive field is ancient southern Mesopotamia, where the earliest beginnings of both urbanism and literacy can be traced. The challenge is to move beyond little more than mere coexistence toward better articulating “text” and “context” to form a more truly interdisciplinary dialogue. This approach touches on other individualized choice and behavioral boundaries as well.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145701
2012-10-21
2024-06-25
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/anthro/41/1/annurev-anthro-092611-145701.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145701&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Adams RMcC. 1956. Level and trend in early Sumerian civilization PhD thesis Univ. Chicago223 [Google Scholar]
  2. Adams RMcC. 1960a. Early civilizations, subsistence, and environment. See Kraeling & Adams 1960 269–96
  3. Adams RMcC. 1960b. Ecological and socioeconomic features in the rise of Mesopotamian civilization. See Kraeling & Adams 1960 24–34
  4. Adams RMcC. 1962. Agriculture and urban life in early southwestern Iran. Science 136:109–22 [Google Scholar]
  5. Adams RMcC. 1965. Land Behind Baghdad: A History of Settlement on the Diyala Plains Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  6. Adams RMcC. 1966. The Evolution of Urban Society: Early Mesopotamia and Prehispanic Mexico Chicago: Aldine [Google Scholar]
  7. Adams RMcC. 1972. Settlement and irrigation patterns in ancient Akkad. Appendix, Maps 1—9. See Gibson 1972 182–208
  8. Adams RMcC. 1978. Strategies of maximization, stability, and resilience in Mesopotamian society, settlement, and agriculture. Am. Philos. Soc. Proc. 122:329–35 [Google Scholar]
  9. Adams RMcC. 1981. Heartland of Cities: Surveys of Ancient Settlement and Land Use on the Central Floodplain of the Euphrates Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  10. Adams RMcC. 1988a. Conceptual issues in environmental archaeology: an overview. Conceptual Issues in Environmental Archaeology JL Bintliff, DA Davidson, EG Grant 1–15 Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  11. Adams RMcC. 1988b. Contexts of civilizational collapse: a Mesopotamian view. The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations N Yoffee, GL Cowgill 20–43 Tucson: Univ. Ariz. Press [Google Scholar]
  12. Adams RMcC. 1996. Paths of Fire: An Anthropologist's Inquiry Into Western Technology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  13. Adams RMcC. 2000. Accelerated technological change in archaeology and ancient history. Cultural Evolution: Contemporary Viewpoints GM Feinman, J Marcus 95–118 New York: Kluwer Acad. Plenum [Google Scholar]
  14. Adams RMcC. 2001. Complexity in archaic states. J. Anthropol. Archaeol. 20:345–60 [Google Scholar]
  15. Adams RMcC. 2002a. Steps toward a regional understanding of the Mesopotamian plain. Material Culture and Mental Spheres: International Symposium für Hans J. Nissen A Hausleiter, S Kerner, B Müller-Neuhof Alter Orient und Altes Testament 29333–48 Münster: Ugarit-Verlag [Google Scholar]
  16. Adams RMcC. 2002b. Trends in American and German Higher Education Cambridge, MA: Am. Acad. Arts Sci. [Google Scholar]
  17. Adams RMcC. 2004. The role of writing in Sumerian agriculture: asking broader questions. Assyria and Beyond: Studies Presented to Mogens Trolle Larsen JG Dercksen 1–8 Leuven: Ned. Inst. Voor Nabije Oosten [Google Scholar]
  18. Adams RMcC. 2004. Understanding early civilizations: a comparative study. Int. Hist. Rev. 26:349–51 [Google Scholar]
  19. Adams RMcC. 2006a. Intensified large-scale irrigation as an aspect of imperial policy: strategies of statecraft on the late Sasanian Mesopotamian plain. Agricultural Strategies J Marcus, C Stanish 17–37 Cotsen Adv. Semin. Ser. 2 Los Angeles: Cotsen Inst. Archaeol., UCLA [Google Scholar]
  20. Adams RMcC. 2006b. Shepherds at Umma in the third dynasty of Ur: interlocutors with a world beyond the scribal fields of vision. J. Econ. Soc. Hist. Orient 49:133–69 [Google Scholar]
  21. Adams RMcC. 2007. The limits of state power on the Mesopotamian plain. Cuneiform Digit. Libr. Bull. 2007:11–3 [Google Scholar]
  22. Adams RMcC. 2008. An interdisciplinary overview of a Mesopotamian city and its hinterlands. Cuneiform Digit. Libr. J. 2008:11–23 [Google Scholar]
  23. Adams RMcC. 2009. Old Babylonian networks of urban notables. Cuneiform Digit. Libr. 2009:71–14 [Google Scholar]
  24. Adams RMcC. 2010. Slavery and freedom in the third dynasty of Ur: implications of the Garshana archive. Cuneiform Digit. Libr. J. 2010:21–8 [Google Scholar]
  25. Adams RMcC, Nissen HJ. 1972. The Uruk Countryside: The Natural Setting of Urban Societies Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  26. Adams RMcC, Schelling CS. 1979. Corners of a Foreign Field: Discussions about American Overseas Advanced Research Centers in the Humanities and Social Sciences New York: Rockefeller Found. Work. Pap. [Google Scholar]
  27. Anderson PW. 1972. More is different: broken symmetry and the nature of the hierarchical structure of science. Science 177:393–96 [Google Scholar]
  28. Braudel F. 1995. The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press [Google Scholar]
  29. Campbell DT. 1969. The ethnocentrism of disciplines and the fish-scale model of omniscience. Interdisciplinary Relationships in the Social Sciences M Sherif, CW Sherif 328–31 Rutgers, NJ: Transaction [Google Scholar]
  30. Carter RA. 2010. The social and environmental context of Neolithic seafaring in the Persian Gulf. The Global Origins and Development of Seafaring A Andersen, J Berrett, K Boyle 191–202 Cambridge, UK: McDonald Inst. Archaeol. Res. [Google Scholar]
  31. Charpin D. 2010. Reading and Writing in Babylon Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  32. Childe VG. 1956. Man Makes Himself London: Watts [Google Scholar]
  33. Childe VG. 1964. What Happened in History London: Penguin [Google Scholar]
  34. Diakonoff IM. 1982. The structure of Near Eastern society before the middle of the second millennium B.C. Budapest. Oikumene 3:7–100 [Google Scholar]
  35. Diakonoff IM. 1985. Extended families in Old Babylonian Ur. Z. Assyriol. 75:47–65 [Google Scholar]
  36. Englund RK. 1998. Texts from the late Uruk period. Annäherungen 1. Mesopotamien: Späturuk-Zeit und Frühynastische Zeit J Bauer, RJ Englund, M Krebernik, Orb. Biblic. Orient., 160/1 Freiburg/Göttingen: Univ. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht [Google Scholar]
  37. Finkbeiner U. 1991. Uruk: Kampagne 35–37 1982–84. Die archäologische Oberflachen-Untersuchung Survey. AUWE 4 Maiz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern [Google Scholar]
  38. Garfinkle SJ. 2004. Shepherds, merchants and credit: some observations on lending practices in Ur III Mesopotamia. J. Econ. Soc. Hist. Orient 47:1–30 [Google Scholar]
  39. Garfinkle SJ. 2010. The organization of knowledge in early Mesopotamia: information, wealth and archives in the Ur III period. Why Should Somebody Who Knows Something Conceal It?: Cuneiform Studies in Honor of David I. Owen A Kleinerman, JM Sasson 131–41 Bethesda, MD: CDL Press [Google Scholar]
  40. Gasche HM, Tanret M, Cole S, Verhoeven K. 2002. Fleuves du tempest de la vie: permanence et instabilité duréseau fluviatile Babylonien entre 2500 et 1500 avant notre ère. Ann. Hist. Sci. Soc. 57:531–44 [Google Scholar]
  41. Gibson M. 1972. The City and Area of Kish Miami, FL: Field Res. Proj. [Google Scholar]
  42. Heimpel W. 2009. Workers and Construction Work at Garšana Cornell Univ. Stud. Assyriol. Sumerol. 5 Bethesda, MD: CDL Press [Google Scholar]
  43. Jacobsen T, Adams RMcC. 1958. Salt and silt in ancient Mesopotamian agriculture. Science 128:1251–58 [Google Scholar]
  44. Jacobsen T. 1982. Salinity and Irrigation in Antiquity. Diyala Basin Archaeological Projects: Report on Essential Results, 1957–58 Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 14 Malibu, CA: Undena [Google Scholar]
  45. Kraeling CH, Adams RMcC. 1960. City Invincible: A Symposium of Urbanization and Cultural Development in the Ancient Near East Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  46. Larsen MT. 1979. Power and Propaganda: A Symposium Ancient Empires Copenhagen: Akad. Forlag [Google Scholar]
  47. Liverani M. 2011. Stadt (city). Realexikon der Assyriol. 13:1-250–74 [Google Scholar]
  48. McNeill WH. 1963. The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community Chicago, IL: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  49. Nissen HJ, Damerow P, Englund RK. 1993. Archaic Bookkeeping: Writing and Techniques of Economic Administration in the Ancient Near East Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  50. Oppenheim AL. 1960. Assyriology—Why and how. Curr. Anthropol. 1:409–23 [Google Scholar]
  51. Owen DI. 2011. Garshana Studies Cornell Univ. Stud. Assyr. Sumer. 6 Bethesda, MD: CDL Press [Google Scholar]
  52. Pollock S. 2001. The Uruk period in southern Mesopotamia. Uruk Mesopotamia and Its Neighbors MS Rothman 181–231 Santa Fe, NM: Sch. Am. Res. [Google Scholar]
  53. Pournelle JR. 2007. KLM to CORONA: A bird's-eye view of cultural ecology and early Mesopotamian urbanization. See Stone 2007a 29–62
  54. Reiner E. 2002. An Adventure of Great Dimension Transact. Am. Philos. Soc. Ser. 92 Part 3 Philadelphia: Am. Philos. Soc. [Google Scholar]
  55. Roth MT. 2010. How we wrote the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. J. Near East. Stud. 69:1–21 [Google Scholar]
  56. Sallaberger W. 2011. On orthography, grammar, and Akkado-Sumerian bilingualism. Garshana Studies DI Owen 335–72 Cornell Univ. Stud. Assyriol. Sumerol. 6 Bethesda, MD: CDL Press [Google Scholar]
  57. Steinkeller P. 2001. New light on the hydrology and topography of southern Babylonia in the third millennium. Z. Assyriol. 93:22–84 [Google Scholar]
  58. Steinkeller P. 2007. City and countryside in third millennium southern Babylonia. See Stone 2007a 185–211
  59. Stone EC. 2007a. Settlement and Society: Essays Dedicated to Robert McCormick Adams Los Angeles: Cotsen Inst. Archaeol., Univ. Calif. Los Angeles [Google Scholar]
  60. Stone EC. 2007b. The Mesopotamian urban experience. See Stone 2007a 213–34
  61. Stone EC, Zimansky P. 2004. The Anatomy of a Mesopotamian City: Survey and Soundings at Mashkan-Shapir Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns [Google Scholar]
  62. Stone L. 1972. The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529–1642 London: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  63. Trigger B. 2003. Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study New York: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  64. Ur J. 2012. Patterns of settlement in Sumer and Akkad. The Sumerian World H Crawford London: Routledge In press [Google Scholar]
  65. Widell M. 2008. The Ur III metal loans from Ur. The Growth of an Early State in Mesopotamia: Studies in Ur III Administration SJ Garfinkle, JC Johnson 207–24 Madrid: Consenjo Super. [Google Scholar]
  66. Wilkinson TJ. 2003. Archaeological Landscapes of the Near East Tucson: Univ. Ariz. Press [Google Scholar]
  67. Willey GR. 1953. Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the Viru Valley, Peru Bur. Am. Ethnol., Bull. 155 Washington, DC: Smithson. Inst. [Google Scholar]
  68. Wolf ER. 1982. Europe and the People Without History Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press [Google Scholar]
  69. Woods C. 2010. Visible Language: Inventions of Writing in the Middle East and Beyond Chicago: Orient. Inst. Mus. Publ. 32 [Google Scholar]
  70. Wright HT. 1981. Appendix. The development of settlement in the area of Ur and Eridu. See Adams 1981 323–51
  71. Zeder MA. 2009. The Neolithic macro-(r)evolution: macroevolutionary theory and the study of culture change. J. Archaeol. Res. 17:1–63 [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145701
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error